Server Uses 99% of Memory

stevenvanheerden used Ask the Experts™
hi there

i'm running a SBS 2011 with Exchange 2010. the server has 24Gig RAM.
i'm also running Hyper-V which i allocated 6Gigs of RAM.
problem is the server keeps running at 99% RAM with the store.exe (Exchange) taking up 13Gigs. at the end of the day, the server when working on it is extremely slow as it keeps running at 99%. this is causing people to get errors on the network when accessing 3rd party programs.
what can i do to regulate the use of memory better as the server did the same when it run 16gigs of ram - i thought upgrading the memory would fix this but it didn't. the server just keeps eating all the ram no matter what amount of RAM it has installed.

please help as this is a very urgent matter.

thanks a lot
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Distinguished Expert 2018

Your problem is hyper-v. Put simply, certain components of SBS are designed totake memory. Exchange and SQL, for example. Take memory to improve performance. The more RAM you install, the more they take. Ne downside of this design is that SBS does not expect much in the way of memory-heavy 3rd party apps. You can run an AV package, for example, but if you have a server based accounting or CRM package, for example, they are always best run ona second server.

Hyper-v definitely falls into this category as it needs a good chunk of memory. And, in fact, installing the hyper-v role on SBS (or any do an controller) puts the server in an u supported state and SHOIOD never be done. Hyper-v is KNOWN to break some SBS components.

You can run SBS as. Guest on a hyper-v host, but SBS SHOIOD never be the host itself. You will have problems until you resolve that.

Top Expert 2013

The fact that Exchange is using 99% of memory is likely not the problem.  Exchange and SQL look at unused RAM as wasted RAM. They will use almost all available RAM no mater how much you add.  They will then relase it to other applications as needed.  This is by design.  I would also reduce the amount of RAM allocated to hyper-V amd add to the SBS.  A Basic install of SBS should have 12-14GB of RAM and more as users are added.
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Top Expert 2013

a) I should have refreshed rather than duplicating Cliff's comments.
b) I missed Hyper-V is running on SBS and is not the host???  Running hyper-v on SBS is not supported and will break features such as DHCP.


hi guys

thanks for the good response.
OK, what if i take the hyper V role off the server. its only there to run a SQL server based application.
can i run this in the normal environment on the same server?
i still have the old server which can be configured to run the 3rd party apps, but i must admit that the company did spend quite a bit of money on this new server.
i'm not sure if they will like the fact that i'm telling them that the old server must still be used.
the 3rd party programs being used are two vessel/container management applications and a accounting package.
so whats my options? running all these apps on a separate server?
Top Expert 2013
Removing hyper-v is not really an option, but rather necessary.  It's a licensing violation, shouldn’t be run on a DC, causes other network issues because of the virtual NIC's, and is not optimized to do so.  IS the SBS your DHCP server? It should be, but if Hyper-V is installed and your clients are getting DHCP addresses, then it sounds like DHCP may be running on the router.
Once hyper-v is removed you should run the fix my network wizard.

Ideally you install Hyper-V as the host, add SBS as a virtual machine, and you can then add other servers as virtual machines as well.
SBS purchased with the "Premium Add On" includes licenses to
-Have a server 2008 R2 host running hyper-V only
-SBS 2011 to run as a VM
-Server 2008 R2 to run as a VM and run any service you like, such as SQL or TS/RDS
-SQL 2008

However in your present configuration it is possible to add SQL to SBS.  It is not ideal, and the version is critical, or the better option is to run it on a separate physical or virtual server.  I don’t recommend adding SQL services to an SBS.
Distinguished Expert 2018
Agreed. Adding SQL instances to SBS falls under "3rd-party apps" in my book. You will solve your memory issues by removing Hyper-V and re-introduce them by adding SQL. Don't get me wrong, removing Hyper-V is a necessity for legal and technical reasons as it breaks far more than just your memory issue, so you should do that no matter what.

But what you do after you remove Hyper-V is up for some debate. It sounds as though your server should be capable of carrying the entire company workload. It is a little thin on memory but not terrible. So if your client would be upset about spending money on a new server and still using the old one, you can get around that. As RobWill says, virtualizing SBS as a *guest* is certainly an option. You can run your SBS guest, your second guest for SQL and apps, and SBS will be happier because its VM will have dedicated memory without contending with apps, and your server will see higher utilization, making you and the client happier.

If it were me, I'd set up Hyper-V. One VM with 16GB for SBS. Another VM with 6GB for your LOB apps, since that is what it already has now it should continue to work. That leaves 2GB for the host to use on its own, which is actually plenty for a Hyper-V host and no other roles. You'll get full use of your 24GB and no contention.  

Hope that helps,



Hi Guys

thanks a lot for your help on this one.
i have decided to use the old server to run the 3rd party apps and take the hyper v off.

if i have any more issues i will post it, but i'm sure your suggestions will solve my problem.

thanks again!!

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